The Man in the Rockefeller Suit

  • by Mark Seal
  • Narrated by Erik Singer
  • 10 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A real-life Talented Mr. Ripley, the unbelievable 30-year run of a shape-shifting con man. The story of Clark Rockefeller is a stranger-than-fiction twist on the classic American success story of the self-made man - because Clark Rockefeller was totally made up. The career con man who convincingly passed himself off as Rockefeller was born in a small village in Germany.
At 17, obsessed with getting to America, he flew into the country on dubious student visa documents and his journey of deception began. Over the next 30 years, boldly assuming a series of false identities, he moved up the social ladder through exclusive enclaves on both coasts-culminating in a stunning 12-year marriage to a rising star businesswoman with a Harvard MBA who believed she'd wed a Rockefeller. The imposter charmed his way into exclusive clubs and financial institutions-working on Wall Street, showing off an extraordinary art collection - until his marriage ended and he was arrested for kidnapping his daughter, which exposed his past of astounding deceptions as well as a connection to the bizarre disappearance of a California couple in the mid-1980s.
The story of The Man in the Rockefeller Suit is a probing and cinematic exploration of an audacious imposer - and a man determined to live the American dream by any means necessary.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Extreme Fraud

The sheer brashness of Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, a young German immigrant to the United Sates who assumed a succession of false identities to eventually work his way into the highest levels of society, will take your breath away.
As in the case of Frank Abagnale ("Catch Me if You Can"), Gerhartsreiter relied on his ability to so completely mimic behavior, attitudes and language (he developed his "Rockefeller" accent by studying the accent of the Thurston Howell character in "Gilligan's Island"), that the characters he assumes become completely believable to those around him. If anything, his audaciousness exceeds that of Frank Abagnale in that his characters were high-profile and likely to catch people's attention. Who would dream that there could be a fake Rockefeller out there for over 10 years without anybody noticing--not even his high-powered NY exec wife of a decade??
Even in the age of Goggle, Gerhartsreiter managed to pull it off for an amazingly long time--and might still be succeeding at it today if not for his one weakness. I'll leave that point for the reader to discover!
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- Diane

Truth is stranger than fiction

You can't make this kind of stuff up! I have often heard the saying that truth is stranger than fiction and this book proves that. Clark Rockefeller is one of more than 4 personas this immigrant takes on in the book. At every turn their is something stranger than the last sensational event. The author does a great job of getting you hooked in the very beginning and then he keeps you entranced throughout the book. Erik Singer does a very good job with making the book come alive. Great Book!
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- Rebecca "read for pleasure"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-02-2011
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio